Discussion Leader

1. Richis, the dad, thinks long and hard over the deaths that have occurred in Grasse. He decided that the murderer is a “careful collector” rather than a “destructive personality”. He thinks that the murderer is looking for young beautiful perfection which is exactly what Grenouille is doing. (But Grenouille is obviously doing it for odor reasons) Do you think Grenouille is a “careful collector” or a “destructive personality”?

2. Why do you think Grenouille feels absolutely no remorse or guilt for killing Laure now? He debated it before because he didn’t want to lose her scent forever, but now he has no problem killing her. On page 218 he even says that he is content and happy just waiting six hours for her scent to soak up. What made make up his mind?

3. Why do you think Grenouille chose the way to die that he did. He knew that putting that much of his perfume on was going to kill him, but do you think he knew they would eat him? I feel like that was a too personal way for him to die because he was such a lonesome person. What do you think?

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Passages

“It was really true- Grenouille, the solitary tick, the abomination, Grenouille the Monster, who had never felt love and would never be able to inspire it, stood there beside the city wall of Grasse on that day in March and loved and was profoundly happy in his love” 190
“He was overcome with desire to abandon his plans, to walk out into the night and disappear. He would wander across the snow-covered mountains, not pausing to rest, hundreds of miles into the Auvergne, and there creep into his old cave and die.” 191
We are finally seeing real emotion in Grenouille! When he finds the scent of the little red haired girl he is truly in love with it. Although he is not feeling true love for a person he is feeling love for a scent like he did for the first girl that he killed. This time he knows the consequences if he were to kill her and is torn between having her scent by killing her or not killing her so the scent will live on. He is so emotional about this that he considers committing suicide. I really like seeing this much emotion in his because it shows that he is actually a human, but it is still so creepy that he falls in love with a young girls smell. Do you think these emotions are what push him to kill all the other girls or does he just want their scent?

Nique

Connections

So we finally wee that Grenouille is making the human sceented perfume we read about before, but he is only making it to mask the human scent that he lacks. His only goal with this was to smell like everyone else does. He wants to use the perfume for this reason now, but eventually wants to make a similar perfume to make everyone in the world love him.
I looked up human scented perfumes and it turns out there is something called a pheromone. It is a chemical secretion that effects the behavior of another person or animal..generally sexually. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/story?id=1386825 This news story says that there are perfumes being made that are used specifically to draw in a partner and because this attraction is genetic, as long as it is compatible with the other person, it should work. It is super creepy. I’m okay with this happening naturally, but making a perfume that tricks you is super weird! I feel like this is exactly what Grenouille is going for. He just want a perfume that will attract other people to him and that is going to make the book weird.

-Nique

Discussion leader

1. Do you thing Grenouille’s thoughts of his empire and being “Grenouille the Great” are good for him or bad for him? He uses them to make himself happy and he is happy when he is in these vision of his own land, but they are so unrealistic that when he returns to society he will be let down. Do you think that he thinks these dreams are real? Are these healthy for him when he is living in such an odd state?
2. Would safety be worth living like he did to you? He licks moisture from a rock in order to not dehydrate to death; he eats moss and eats lizards whole; he finds pleasure only in dreams and past smells; he is practically dying on this mountain. But he is safe (scent-wise) and to him that has been worth it for the past seven years? Why is this even worth it to him?
3. Grenouille doesn’t react like I would expect him to when he is taken by the professor. He is practically a little show monkey for this guys theory. Grenouille is pretty emotionless throughout the week he is there. At the end, after he “becomes” a gentleman, he realizes that he could have an effect on the world. The way it is stated along with the positive effect the makeover had on him makes this seems like it would be a positive effect. What is going to make Grenouille “effect the world” in such a disgusting and ugly way?

Week 4: Passages

“He assumed that in whatever direction he turned he ought to detect some latent scrap of human odor. But there was nothing. Here there was only peace, olfactory peace, if it can be put that way.” (120)
“He shouted for joy…He carried on like a madman until late into the night” (121)

Grenouille is at least eighteen now and he has finally gained his freedom. As soon as he gained this freedom he found exactly what he wants. He noticed quickly after leaving Baldini how much he hates the human scent. He is repulsed by it. He became so accustomed to the clear fresh air on his odd journey to the mountain that when he he smelled a human he was disgusted. He found and quickly climbed to the top of this mountain and found peace that he has never experienced before. This is the first time that Grenouille has been described in such an upbeat positive way. He has always been weird and uncomfortable, but now that he is completely alone without even a trace of a scent he is normal. Do you think he will try to live like this forever? The lack of humanity makes it hard to find the essentials of living, but from previous experiences we know that his life is pretty much indestructible.
Knowing that he will use women to create the “perfect perfume”, how do you think his life will transition from this olfactory peace to brutal murders?

Nique

Week 3: Connection

“…for at first Grenouille still composed his scents in the totally chaotic and unprofessional manner familiar to Baldini, mixing his ingredients impromptu and in apparent wild confusion.”

This sentence stuck out to me because I recently hung out with my sister in San Francisco for a weekend end got to observe her lifestyle. She lives an extremely healthy life, from food and exercise to perfumes and deodorants. I asked her about them because they were in unmarked bottles and didn’t seem store bought and she makes her own perfumes and deodorants!I immediately thought of Grenouille and wanted to make my own. She let me dig into her essential oils and scents without giving me and instruction and I failed. I thought any combination would be lovely, but it is actually hard to make a nice scent. I’m impressed that both Grenouille and my sister can make a scent that actually smells nice.

Like Baldini she mixed ingredients until she found a mixture that she loves and now she makes it by smelling it until it smells how she wants it to smell like Grenouille does. After looking up ways to make your own perfumes and deodorants (with recipes) using all natural fresh ingredients, it seems doable and leaves out the harmful aluminum that is in most antiperspirant deodorants.

Nique

Discussion Leader

1. Grenouille found this girl’s scent from extremely far away. He was immediately enveloped in the scent and had to find it. After he finally found the girl he still wasn’t satisfied. Why do you think he felt the need to kill her right away without even seeing her face? Do you think he knew that killing her would make her scent disappear forever?

2. Grenouille is obviously obsessed with scent and he had been taking in scents, when he acquired the scent of this girl he became alive. The book said he had previously “merely existed”. He learned that he was a genius and had a talent. Why did it take him this long to realize how extraordinary his smell is? Why did it take her scent to make him “find the compass for his future”?

3. We know Grenouille’s deal with scent, but how will Baldini be connected with Grenouille? At chapter 9 the story drops Grenouille and still has not mentioned him at the end of chapter 12. What is the importance of Baldini, the perfumer?